CDC publishes updated recommendations for avoiding monkeypox, researchers in the UK identify new monkeypox symptoms, and more in this week’s monkeypox news roundup.
Monkeypox is officially a public health emergency
- The CDC released on Friday updated tips advise sexually active people to limit their number of partners until they are vaccinated against monkeypox. Although the virus is not classified as a sexually transmitted disease, the CDC noted that it is usually transmitted through “close and sustained physical contact, which may include sexual contact.” According Data published Friday by the CDC, most infections are currently in men who have sex with men (MSM). However, anyone who has been in constant contact with an infectious person could be infected, according to the World Health Organization. According to the CDC, if an individual or their partner suspects they have the virus, the best way to prevent the spread “is to avoid sex of any kind (oral, anal, vaginal) and kissing or touching the body”. Additionally, the CDC recommends that sexually active people limit their number of sexual partners to reduce the risk of exposure. “Spaces such as back rooms, saunas, sex clubs, or private and public sex parties, where intimate and often anonymous sexual contact with multiple partners occurs, are more likely to spread monkeypox,” he said. added the agency. Since the monkeypox rash can occur anywhere on the body, condoms alone may not prevent exposure. As an alternative, the CDC suggests wearing clothes during sex or covering any part of the body where the rash is present, limiting skin-to-skin contact as much as possible. “Have virtual contactless sex in person,” the CDC also suggested. (Habeshian, Axios8/5)
- The American Red Cross began checking potential blood donors for signs of the rash that appears on people infected with monkeypox during its routine arm exams. In October, the Red Cross will implement a 21-day waiting period before allowing blood donations from people who have been diagnosed with the virus or exposed to anyone infected. “This decision is a reasonable response to prevent the transmission of monkeypox virus given the scientific uncertainty about its ability to spread through blood,” said Lawrence Gostin, who leads the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health at Georgetown Law. Although the risk of contracting monkeypox through blood donations is theoretical, in the absence of known reports of this type of transmission, there are some reports of detection of the virus in the blood of infected patients. In a recent study Posted in The Lancetthe virus was detected in the blood samples of six out of seven patients diagnosed with monkeypox in the UK from 2018 to 2021. Last month, researchers studying the current outbreak published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine saying they detected the virus in some of their patients’ blood samples. “There is a lot of uncertainty right now about the potential of bodily fluids to cause monkeypox infections,” said Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease expert at the University of California, San Francisco. “We don’t know what detection in blood means for transmissibility.” (Molteni, New statistics8/3)
- Researchers in the UK have identified several new symptoms in the current monkeypox outbreak. For the study, they analyzed the medical records of 197 people infected with monkeypox. Notably, all of the participants were men who identified as gay, bisexual or other MSM, with a median age of 38. In the study, lesions were typically detected on the genitals, anus, or perianal region. Unlike previous outbreaks, which suggested that skin lesions developed after systemic symptoms appeared, the researchers found that 38.5% of individuals developed skin lesions first. Additionally, they found that 13.7% of patients developed skin lesions but had no systemic symptoms. Thirty-six percent of patients experienced rectal pain or pain during defecation, 16.8% reported sore throat, and 15.7% reported penile edema. Overall, 10.2% of participants were admitted to hospital for clinical symptoms, including perianal or rectal pain, penile swelling, and perianal or groin abscesses. “Our study supports previous findings from this outbreak – the majority, but not all, patients identify as GBMSM [gay, bisexual, men who have sex with men]. However, it is important not to stigmatize individual groups or populations. Monkeypox is an infection that spreads through any close contact, including sex, so it can, in theory, affect anyone,” said study author Aatish Patel of Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust. (Lennon, Medical News Today8/9)
- Sewage monitoring techniques, which have become an essential tool for detecting Covid-19 outbreaks, are now being adapted to monitor the spread of monkeypox in several US communities, including the San Francisco Bay Area. The Sewer Coronavirus Alert Network (SCAN), the same research team that adapted sewage collection to detect coronavirus in the early days of the pandemic, is now expanding sewage monitoring to detect outbreaks of monkeypox. In June, SCAN adapted its surveillance to monitor monkeypox in northern California sewers. Since then, he has detected the virus in several sewers, including Palo Alto, San Jose, Gilroy, Sacramento and two locations in San Francisco. SCAN is also currently conducting similar surveillance in several other states, including Colorado, Georgia and Michigan. The network hopes to expand to monitor 300 US sites. In the future, SCAN scientists hope to use sewage sludge to track a growing list of public health issues. “We’re looking at a whole range of things that we could test for,” said Marlene Wolfe, assistant professor of environmental health at Emory University. (Kreidler, “Blows,” NPR, 8/8)
- Florida state health officials announced they would only administer the first dose of the two-dose monkeypox vaccine to expand its limited supply. While the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) has ordered all of the 72,000 doses of vaccine allocated by HHS, the supply will probably not be enough to meet the sharp increase in infections in the state. To stretch the state’s limited supply, the FDOH has asked county health units to reschedule thousands of appointments for the second dose of the vaccine. Similarly, New York City has prioritized delivering the first doses of the vaccine to people at high risk of contracting the disease. “Given the rapid increase in cases, the Department of Health has decided that providing the first doses to offer protection to New Yorkers most at risk is the best strategy until we receive an adequate supply of vaccines.Until there is a sufficient supply in the city, all doses of vaccine will be treated as first doses, and we will only begin scheduling appointments for the second dose once we “We’ll have enough vaccine to do that. The department will let people who received the first doses know when the second doses will be available and how to receive them,” the official said. New York City Department of Health said in a statement. (Sargsyan, Politics, 8/9; Branwell, New statistics7/15)